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In The City Of Brotherly Love

US Open Quarters: Day 2 As It Happens

Four matches and four places in the semi-finals of the 2016 Delaware Investments U.S. Open at stake tonight.

Here’s what’s coming up.

[6] Camille Serme (FRA) v [2] Laura Massaro (ENG)
[4] Nick Matthew (ENG) v Ali Farag (EGY)
[4] Nouran Gohar (EGY) v [7] Amanda Sobhy (USA)
[5] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) v [2] Gregory Gaultier (FRA)

A big win for Serme

Serme Stuns 2015 Champion Massaro

Camille Serme scalped 2015 winner Laura Massaro in the first quarter-final of today’s action at the 2016 U.S. Open, coming through a topsy turvy encounter 11-8, 8-11, 11-2, 6-11, 11-6 after almost an hour of action.

The match saw momentum swing back and forth throughout the first four games as the duo enjoyed periods of total dominance, with passages of play passing by in which one payer totally outplayed the other, before it really got going in the decider.

But it was Serme, utilising variation in height and playing with unwavering confidence on the backhand side, who took it, celebrating with a roar that underlined the importance of the win to her after struggling with her form over the past few months.

“To beat Laura, the defending champion, is a great win for me right now and it feels amazing,” said Serme.

“It was a very tactical battle today. She’s such a fighter, it doesn't matter if she’s down, she never gives up so I’m so happy to win that battle.

“After losing to Sarah-Jane Perry in Al Ahram my coach and I talked a lot and looked at all the options for me to improve – we even discussed if I should go elsewhere.

“We’ve worked hard at trying to change my mindset in all areas – in the gym, in practice – not just in matches, to try and push me even harder. I’ve got things to focus on mentally every day and little notes and reminders to help me.

“Today I was trying to keep that positivity throughout the match. I knew what the tactic was and the I have to be in front and make her work and I think in the fifth the mental element was the key.”

Result:
[6] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [2] Laura Massaro (ENG) 3-2: 11-8, 8-11, 11-2, 6-11, 11-6 (55m)

Serme's backhand in control

Matthew Masterclass Proves There’s Still Life In The Old Wold

Three-time World Champion Nick Matthew produced a masterclass performance to overturn his 100% losing streak to Egyptian Ali Farag and secure a well deserved place in the semi-finals of the 2016 US Open.

The 36-year-old suffered a surprise first round exit at the NetSuite Open last week and struggled against Simon Rösner in the second round here in Philadelphia, but cut a completely different animal on court against World No.6 Farag to prove there is still life in the old wolf as he came through 11-8, 11-7, 11-8.

There was little to choose between the pair during the opening stanza but it was the seasoned head of Matthew that took the key points when it mattered, as he mixed the height and pace with every shot to take Farag out of his rhythm. It was a pattern that continued throughout the hour long battle with Matthew playing clean, straight lines to limit Farag’s success and secure a hugely impressive win.

“I had to pull that out of the pandora’s box of experience,” said Matthew.

“I had to keep reminding myself just to dig in because I played him twice and lost twice – I went a bit crazy at the end which I apologised about. I didn’t want to retire from the Tour with a zero next to my name with anyone so I was determined to prove a point and show that there’s life in the old dog yet.

“Every time I opened up the court he was too good. He has that ability to make you feel a bit like Bambi on ice at time but I dug in. It was 3-0 but mentally it felt much, much tougher than that.

“I was gutted not to be in Al Ahram and not make the glass court in San Fran. This is the stage I’ve been at home in all my life so I just want to give it everything I’ve got. I have nothing to lose so I’m trying to play a bit freely and Greg (Gaultier) is still going amazing and James (Willstrop) is making a comeback, so why not me as well.”

Result:
[4] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt Ali Farag (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 11-7, 11-8 (57m)

Huge reaction from Matthew

The heat of the battle

Sobhy Secures Redemption In Philly

US number one Amanda Sobhy delighted the crowd inside Philadelphia’s Drexel University to down 19-year-old Egyptian Nouran Gohar and reach the semi-finals of the 2016 U.S. Open – gaining revenge for her defeat against the World No.4 in the final of August’s Hong Kong Open.

It was the hard-hitting World Junior Champion who came through in Hong Kong – the first PSA World Series tournament of the season – to claim the honours and inflict a second major tournament final defeat on Boston-based Sobhy, but the 23-year-old ensured that result wouldn’t be repeated as she produced a performance of high quality attacking abandon to outgun Gohar at her own game.

Gohar started the stronger, coming out with the aim of blasting her opponent off the court and it worked as she took the opening game 11-7. But Sobhy came back strong in the second and took the game by the scruff of the neck, attacking and using the angles to push Gohar around the court and she went from strength to strength, using the home support to ride the wave and come through 7-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-4.

“I was very determined to overturn that result in Hong Kong – there’s nothing like getting a of redemption so I was focused on making sure she didn’t beat me twice, especially not on home soil,” said Sobhy.

‘I’m feeling great right now – it was such a tough match so to come out and get the win and reach the semi-finals of the US Open is amazing and I owe the crowd so much thanks.

“This is such a prestigious and great tournament and it’s fantastic to play here. The support of the fans gives you that extra push and they really picked me up and I hope they can continue and make it even louder for tomorrow’s semi-finals.

“After the first I relaxed and found my confidence and my rhythm more as the match went on so I’m very pleased with how it all came together. Hopefully I can do my best to try and keep the trophy on home soil.”

Result:
[7] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt [4] Nouran Gohar (EGY) 3-1: 7-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-4 (42m)

Its Sobhy Time

Sobhy on the attack

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